White kitchen cabinets are one of the easiest, most impactful changes you can make in your kitchen. Whether you’re heading for a full remodel, or looking to DIY and save, painting cabinets white can be an incredible change!

Take a photo tour of a budget kitchen remodel featuring painted white kitchen cabinets, Danby marble countertops, and more. White kitchen cabinets can create a lighter, brighter and more cheerful kitchen!

A kitchen with white kitchen cabinets and wood floors
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Not so long ago, we lived in a charming vintage Colonial home in the Kansas City area. Okay, okay… it was 7+ years ago, but who’s counting? Not this girl! Can you believe we’ve been in our St. Louis tudor home for that long?

We created some really incredible changes in this home, and I certainly hope they’ve stood the test of time. See our Colonial exterior paint colors here, as well as details about our hand scraped wood floors.

Sometimes changes are expensive, and sometimes they are more affordable. One thing we can all agree on when it comes to remodeling projects is that paint makes an incredible impact.

Your kitchen is no different! I can actually appreciate oak cabinets in many settings – truly, you can do some great things with them! Read about paint colors to go with oak cabinets and how to modernize a kitchen with oak cabinets here. However, sometimes you just need a lighter and brighter update that painting the walls alone cannot achieve.

That’s where white kitchen cabinets come in. I know it can be scary to take the leap, so today I’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of painting kitchen cabinets white.

a classic white kitchen with marble countertops & white subway tile

White Kitchen Cabinets

Painting cabinets white is the ultimate hack when it comes to a kitchen remodel on a budget. Is it effortless? NO. But it’s an incredible change, and one that is much more affordable than replacing cabinets and starting from scratch.

White kitchen cabinets can evoke a variety of design styles, and they are a historically accurate look for many eras of homes. When you think of a classic farmhouse, don’t you often imagine a white farmhouse kitchen? I know I do!

However, white kitchen cabinets might not be right for everyone. Depending on the style of your cabinets, painting cabinets white can be more tedious than it sounds. Let’s learn about all the positives and negatives of white kitchen cabinets.

Pros and Cons of Painting Cabinets White


  • Paint is inexpensive (in comparison to replacing cabinets, of course)
  • Light and bright
  • Fresh, updated look
  • Neutral and goes with any accent colors
  • Works with a variety of styles, from farmhouse, to cottage, transitional, modern and traditional
  • Timeless style


  • Can be a lot of upkeep – as they might discolor, show dirt, stains or scratches
  • Can be more difficult to keep clean
  • Chips and scratches can happen – choose high quality paint and hire an experienced cabinet painter
  • Some people feel that white kitchen cabinets lack warmth
A white kitchen cabinet with a silver pull for farmhouse kitchen ideas on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is white still popular for kitchen cabinets?

Yes! White kitchen cabinets are timeless and not trendy. However, dark cabinets and certain finishes of wood cabinets are in style right now, too!

Does painting wood cabinets decrease value?

The answer is: it depends! Most often, though, realtors will suggest that high quality painted cabinets can give a kitchen a more updated appearance, which actually adds resale value to your home.

Should I roll or brush my kitchen cabinets?

Always roll if you can’t spray! Professionals will generally spray kitchen cabinets white. Read more about the best furniture paint here.

Is satin or semi gloss better for kitchen cabinets?

Satin paint (also called eggshell paint) is great for high traffic areas and cleans well. However, for cabinetry, semi-gloss paint is suggested instead, as it holds up better to wear and tear and moisture.

Read more about How to Choose the Right Paint Sheen.

White Kitchen Cabinet Tips

If you’re considering taking the plunge to paint cabinets white, here are a few tips to make the best of this change in your home!

  1. Get the best tips for painting trim white and furniture paint here.
  2. You can paint without sanding, but I don’t recommend that for kitchen cabinets. They simply take too much wear and tear for any shortcuts.
  3. Utilize the experts at your local paint store! They always have the best tips and suggestions, in addition to any professionals that you hire to do the painting in your home.
  4. Use a gentle natural cleaner to wipe down the cabinets occasionally, or deal with messes.
A kitchen with painted white cabinets and marble countertops

We always receive questions about the color of these farmhouse inspired white kitchen cabinets. They are Sherwin Williams Pro Classic in un-tinted white.

For another type of paint to consider, check out ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel in semi-gloss. It’s an enamel finish in a water-based paint. It’s an easier clean-up but holds up beautifully over time!

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